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Press Release

Manderson Man Sentenced for Possessing a Firearm and Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Manderson, South Dakota, man convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.

Elijah West, age 21, was sentenced on March 25, 2019, to 24 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The conviction stems from West knowingly being in possession of a Ruger .22 caliber revolver, while unlawfully using and distributing methamphetamine in February 2018 at Pine Ridge.

Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity.  Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers.  It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Patterson and Heather Sazama prosecuted the case.

West was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated March 30, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods